Every once in awhile a bit of wildlife manages to find its way into the food supply. Sure, it’s a bit disconcerting when one hears of black widows being found on bunches of grapes, or even lizards in lettuce, but this week some supermarket workers in Sweden were stunned and horrified to discover a real, live boa constrictor as they were unpacking a box of bananas.
According to The Local, two women were unpacking a shipment of bananas when one of them spotted a large brown snake in the box and started screaming, which was an understandable response, as boa constrictors are very large and can be deadly.
"I didn't believe it at first," said Elinor Syversen, who was one of the women unpacking the box. "It was brown and 45 to 50cm long. I was a little bit shocked."
Boa constrictors can grow to be three meters long, and they famously squeeze their prey to death before swallowing their meals whole. The snake in the box appeared to be smaller, however, and seemed to be unconscious. Boa constrictors are found in tropical climates, and this one cannot have been happy to have wound up in Sweden in winter.
The women stowed the snake in a box in a cold outdoor room, hoping the low temperature would keep it from waking up. Later that evening a veterinarian showed up and declared that the snake was dead. It’s reportedly still at the supermarket, but the Natural History Museum in Gothenburg said it might be interested in taking the dead snake off their hands.